The core ‘pillars’
NPC’s business is focused around analysing markets and trends, and then using the data they obtain to advise large organisations and charities on the best way to invest philanthropically.
I started the project by conducting user research with some of NPC’s core clients to get a sense of how NPC was perceived and how their existing site was being used. Although it had become unwieldy in it’s structure, the user research I conducted revealed that the site was popular and that NPC had built up a lot of trust. They had three core offerings of publications, events and blog, and they were really popular.
I then worked directly with the client to conduct a full content audit of their site, which revealed that their work covers multiple sectors such as government, communities and health, and this gave me the idea of organising the site into a content matrix focused around their three core offerings or ‘pillars’, whereby their sectors would span across each of these offerings.
The concept of the three pillars was carried through consistently in the structural design of the site. So on the homepage, the content is organised into three clear columns, one for each pillar.
On the main publications landing page, the pillars are evident in the filtering system, which allows the user to filter by sector, as well as by date and author. This filtering system is consistent across all three pillars.
The wireframe stage was also when a lot of the more detailed layout work was done, including establishing the grid system. I find this to be much more efficient than doing it in the visual design stage.
The rebrand and visual design
NPC’s rebrand was produced by makeUP and it was a pleasure to work with them collaboratively. It was a really nice brand to work with and easy to implement digitally. The core logo mark was based around an eight-pointed star, and so I wanted to use this angular aspect to inform the visual language in an abstract way.
The brand had a very vibrant, colourful feel. I was keen to use their palette effectively, but also aware that the audience is a B2B market, and that the site is quite content-heavy, so any use of colour needed to be sympathetic of this. As such, the visual aesthetic is clean and minimal, with dashes of colour to add energy.
The clean, minimal design also works to give NPC a premium feel.
The site was built on top of a versatile 1000px grid system, which is designed to make responsive websites much easier. It’s based on fluid percentages rather than fixed pixel measurements, and although the site isn’t responsive, it could easily be made so.
The Design Kit
NPC’s site was also created using a Design Kit, which is intended to make the handover from design to development much more seamless. It also makes the project generally more efficient and cost-effective for the client, as it avoids the need to design every single page.